Women from Aspen to Glenwood prepare to make statement in marches as Trump enters office | AspenTimes.com

Women from Aspen to Glenwood prepare to make statement in marches as Trump enters office

Sarah-Jane Johnson, Alicia Keleher and Andrea Chacos (left to right), all of Carbondale, will fly to Washington, D.C., on Friday to participate in the Million Women March on Saturday.
Courtesy photo |

READY TO MARCH

Several events are coordinated with the Million Women March

Roaring Fork Valley group photo

6 p.m. Thursday

Carbondale Beer Works

Women, men and children who wish to show support and solidarity before the marches will gather for a group photo.

“Half the Sky” movie screening

7:15 p.m. Thursday

Crystal Theatre, Carbondale

$20, includes post-event reception and raffle entry; benefits the nonprofit For the Good Period.

Saturday marches:

Alice’s March for Women and Land

9-10 a.m.

The Goat, Carbondale

Million Women Ski & March Aspen

11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

11 a.m.: Sign making at Aspen Art Museum

1 p.m.: Meet at Aspen Mountain Plaza to ride gondola up the mountain. The group will ski down in fun attire.

2 p.m.: Regroup in plaza for a walk through town. Hooch Bar will offer discounted après.

Women’s March on Denver

9 a.m. to 3 p.m., including a march and rally. A full schedule of speakers and performers is online.

Civic Center Park, Denver

www.marchoncolorado.org

Women’s March on Washington

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST

Independence Avenue and Third Street SW, Washington, D.C.

www.womensmarch.com

Sarah-Jane Johnson missed the opportunity to vote in her first U.S. presidential election in November when her citizenship wasn’t approved as quickly as expected.

It was frustrating, she said, because she felt strongly about the race and the responsibility of citizens to participate. Johnson was finally sworn in Dec. 14, and now she’s seizing the reins of democracy by participating in the Million Women March on Saturday in Washington, D.C. More than 200,000 participants are expected to make a statement by attending the event the day after Donald Trump becomes president.

Johnson, of Carbondale, is among scores of women and some men in the Roaring Fork Valley traveling to Million Women March events in Denver and at the nation’s capital. Events will be held in Aspen and Carbondale on Saturday as well (see schedule on page A1).

“I think initially I saw it as a protest, but now I see it as a march for solidarity,” Johnson said.

“I knew I wanted to march after such an ugly election cycle.” — Sarah Lokken Dogbe

Her group of four had lodging booked in Washington, D.C., within four days of the November election.

As an immigrant who felt she didn’t have a voice, she wants to participate in the march to reassure people who are feeling left out they aren’t alone or forgotten.

“I’m feeling like I’m part of a movement,” Johnson said.

Other march participants interviewed by The Aspen Times expressed similar intents. They want to send the message that people who don’t share the values and positions of the incoming administration must stand together with a collective voice.

March needed after ugly election

Kate Lokken and Sarah Lokken Dogbe, sisters from Basalt, will attend the march in Denver with friend Nancy Scheinkman of Aspen and a handful of other friends from the Roaring Fork Valley.

“I knew I wanted to march after such an ugly election cycle,” Dogbe said. “The march isn’t meant to be a protest, but I suppose I am, ultimately, protesting the direction I see this country taking while trying to take a positive stand on the issues that matter to me most.”

The theme of the march — “Women’s Rights are Human Rights” — resonates with her as a woman and mother of a biracial daughter, Dogbe said. She is concerned that the Trump administration’s policies could be a “dramatic setback” to women’s health and rights.

“That matters to me,” Dogbe said. “I believe in social, racial, environmental and economic justice, and I’m not willing to see these rights rolled back without making my voice heard in any way I can.”

Lokken said she will march for her biracial niece and her best friend, who is gay. She’s also providing a voice in support of the environment and for equal human rights as well as tolerance and decency.

“I’m fearful of what the next few years will bring and how quickly the administration in power can strip away freedom and equality that has been hard-fought for since the 1950s,” she said. “I’m angry that the leader of our country would happily take away my rights as a woman.”

Lokken said she looks forward to being part of a movement that “just might create positive change.”

“I’m marching to find hope again,” she said.

Trying to inspire daughter

Dogbe, Lokken and Scheinkman have a history of backing their beliefs with action. The three of them went to Greece in April to aid refugees, especially young children. They distributed backpacks stuffed with everything from clothing to toys in refugee camps while working with a nonprofit called Operation Refugee Child.

This trip to Denver will be special for Scheinkman because she will be able to bring her 7-year-old daughter. They have already created their signs for the march. She hopes the experience will inspire her daughter to realize she can make a difference by speaking up and acting on issues she believes in.

When asked if she sees the march as a protest against Trump or a rally for the groups feeling disenfranchised, Scheinkman said her intent is to show the country cannot isolate groups and marginalize parts of society.

“We’re all connected,” she said.

She acknowledged there’s a bit of protest inherent in the march.

“It’s about him and his policies, but not in a negative way,” Scheinkman said.

Ski lap in Aspen

The organizer of Aspen events on Million Women March day aims to keep it entirely positive, despite some strong personal opinions about the election. Kim Master organized a community ski lap on Aspen Mountain that will be followed by a march in town. Participants will have the option of starting off with a family-friendly event at the Aspen Art Museum where they can make wearable-skiable signs. The signs will start off saying “Together we can” and participants will fill in a blank at the end.

Master said it’s impossible to know how many people will turn up but she’s sensing it is resonating with people.

“I’m having random women hug me in the street,” she said.

There was an exception. A woman chewed her out for not making it more of a protest, she said.

“This is not a protest,” Master said. “Our event is about sharing your voice in a unified community.”

People will meet at the Silver Queen Gondola Plaza at 1 p.m., then ride up Aspen Mountain for the ski lap.

Men are welcome at the local, state and national marches. Pitkin County Democratic Chairman Howie Wallach said he intends to travel to Denver on Saturday, weather permitting.

“I think we need to stand together to demonstrate the importance of our values to us to the incoming administration,” Wallach said.

scondon@aspentimes.com


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